With so many new rap albums, mixtapes, EPs and songs dropping every week; knowing which ones are worth your time can be a challenge. But no worries, we'll help smooth out the process with "Now N' Laters," a column that highlights the hottest new releases of the week and the songs you'll want to listen to now — and later.
This week's lineup of new material includes the return of one of the most vibrant figures on the west coast, a new collection from one of the most mesmerizing artists in modern music, and a release from one of the most touted street rappers on the circuit. As he continues to mourn the loss of close friend and partner-in-rhyme Nipsey Hussle, YG releases his fourth studio album, 4REAL 4REAL, a project that showcases the rapper's growth as a lyricist and all-around emcee. Flying Lotus ends his sabbatical with Flamagra, his first studio album in nearly five years. And last, but not least, Moneybagg Yo comes through with 43VA HEARTLESS, the anticipated follow-up to the Memphis native's major label debut.
With all three releases getting airplay and dominating the conversation, REVOLT shares our critics' picks for the three songs from each album that stand a cut above the rest and should be in your heavy rotation now -- and later. Be sure to let us know what your favorites are.
YG: 4REAL 4REAL
"Heart 2 Heart"
The harsh realities that come along with the illegal life are examined on this heartfelt banger, which finds YG penning an open letter to those stuck in the cycle. Featuring an impassioned verse from Meek Mill, with vocals from Arin Ray and Rose Gold, this tune accounts for one of the album's more somber, yet impressive moments.
"Do Not Disturb"
YG makes a trek to the Bay Area to link with Kamaiyah and G-Eazy for this turnt-up affair, which finds the trio basking in their philandering and debauchery. Rhyming over piano keys and 808s provided by Hit-Boy and Corbett, YG and company combine their talents for this standout moment on the rapper's latest batch of tracks.
"Do Yo Dance"
Even the hardest gangsta likes to get his boogie on from time to time, which YG exactly does on this carefree selection from the west coaster's new LP. Produced by 1-O.A.K. and including appearances from Kamaiyah, Ty Dolla $ign, RJMrLA and Mitch; this bouncy tune is the perfect mood music for a kickback on a breezy summer day.
Flying Lotus: Flamagra
Few artists have been as active in recent months as Anderson .Paak, who became an omnipresence with a consistent stream of album releases, collaborations and random loosies. The talented Cali product emerges yet again with this guest spot alongside Flying Lotus, styling over a mid-tempo backdrop that covers his vocals like a glove.
Philly native and recent Grammy-nominee Tierra Whack adds her distinct vocals to this off-kilter ditty from Flying Lotus' latest sonic experience. Kicking flows off a jittery backdrop, Whack turns in a stellar performance that continues her climb up the ranks of the music world.
"Black Balloons Reprise"
Denzel Curry raps riddles on this prequel to his TA13OO album cut "THE BLACKEST BALLOON I THE 13LACKEZT 13ALLOON." Produced by Flying Lotus, this slice of boom-bap gets shredded by Curry, who runs roughshod over the track while putting forth one of the more intense outings on the album.
Moneybagg Yo: 43EVA HEARTLESS
"4 Da Moment"
Yung Miami continues to raise her stock with this appearance alongside Moneybagg Yo, as the two southern stalwarts engage in a battle of the sexes. Produced by DMacTooBangin and DrumGod, this high-powered collaboration is a surefire hit and one of the highlights on Yo's latest long player.
"Style Ain't Free"
Moneybagg Yo reminds the streets that flexing comes with a hefty price-tag with this rollicking salvo, which captures the rapper doling out idle threats in the midst of running up a check. Produced by June James, this offering finds Yo phoning in Offset for reinforcement, who adds to his resume with yet another superb guest spot.
DMacTooBangin and DrumGod deliver a brooding composition with the instrumental for this menacing number from Moneybagg Yo's sophomore effort. Joined by fellow Memphis rep and CMG brethren Blac Youngsta, Yo and his co-conspirator take things to the concrete with this certified street banger.
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